Re: Personal Status Updates!

ireactions wrote:

The Alcatel Pixi 3. Oh. Hmm. Well, it was free.

Out of curiosity, I went to Amazon.co.uk and looked for unlocked phones for less than £100 that are unlikely to blow up in your face or melt or burst into flame.

It also looks like you could get an 8GB Moto E for £90. The Moto E is a decent phone with limited storage, but if you root the phone, add a microSD card and install Link2SD, you can move about 45 per cent of the app files to the microSD and also store all your media files there, which would leave the Moto E just enough storage to run Android well.

Thanks I'll check that out! smile

Saw another old nostalgic Aussie Kids Sci Fi the other night called Escape from Jupiter.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_from_Jupiter.

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

Re: Personal Status Updates!

I think I can add a small revision to my warnings that sub-16GB phones will not turn out well. I stand by that -- Android will constantly need to download software package updates, app sizes swell with each update, and you'll out out of memory errors very quickly. However, if you can root the phone -- and you'll need to find out in advance of buying it if there's a way to root it -- then you might be okay.

Link2SD is an app that requires root access, and once you have it, you can shift a good chunk of your app files to a microSD card and bypass the 8GB limitation. The Moto E can be rooted. However, if you can't find anything about root access for a sub-16GB phone, you shouldn't buy it.

Currently, my apps use 4.27GB of space, but I've been able to put 2.27GB of that onto the microSD card in the phone. I don't play games, so I could probably manage on an 8GB phone with it's 5.3 GB of storage if I had to -- so long as I had the option of using the microSD. Without it, and on 5.3GB, I'd probably be hitting out of memory errors.

203 (edited by omnimercurial 2015-12-07 05:37:18)

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Sounds frustrating. I hope I am successful in navigating it all.

Was reading up on The Tomorrow People's 70's, 90's and recent version as of 2013 and read a Fansites Author whose Passion for The Tomorrow People m
felt very much in line with our Shared Passion/Fondness for Sliders.

Here is a Link: http://www.effdee.demon.co.uk/new%20TP% … hy/why.htm

I'd love to read what She thinks of the 2013 Version but sadly she has not updated recently. sad

I never saw the 70's version and I'm aware my nostalgic fondness of the 90's reboot makes my preference for it over the 2013 version slightly biased but I feel justified even so as so many opportunities in the newest were squandered in terms of Plot, Characterisation etc.

Here is a wiki Link on the Different versions. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tomorrow_People

Sure some of the acting in the 90's one is shocking but they are Child Actors.... What is 2013's excuse considering how old/mature the Actors playing Teens are?
A really good Actor with Comic Timing Skills named Danny John Jules was in one Ep so there was some pretty good Acting here and there.

Have you seen the three iterations made for TV ireactions?
Have any other Sliders Fans here seen the Three in order to buld a balancesd view or Preference?

There are also some Audio Plays akin to the Dr Who lost years continuation Stories, which also attempted to bridge the 70's and 90's Shows despite their differences.

Here is a Youtube link to the first 2 Eps of the 90's Series.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIY7m_xP … ata_player

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

Re: Personal Status Updates!

omnimercurial wrote:

The Tomorrow People

I absolutely adored the 90s incarnation of The Tomorrow People. Back in the day, I was just devouring any form of media that contained the concept of the next stage of human evolution - which is right around the time that I started seriously getting into X-Men - and is obviously why I (albeit initially) lapped up Heroes. Teleportation, Telekinesis and Telepathy; I just loved the idea of these kids discovering these powers and trying to protect the world, regardless of how cheesy it was - but it was a children's show and it was a product of its time. And gosh, forget Peter Petrelli, Adam is cool as hell, lol.

I later began researching the show and discovered that it was based off of the original 70s incarnation. Though I have watched several serials, I could not take to it for various reasons - the main one being that it was designed specifically to be a competitor to Doctor Who. But that was what put me off of it. There was too much technology and space travel and all kinds of shenanigans, whereas the 90s version (don't get me wrong here - we've got alien pods, an egyptian deity, and a megalomaniac cereal mogul on the loose) but it felt more broadly grounded and I felt an attachment to the situation and the characters.

My dislike of the latest incarnation is well documented so I'll try and keep it brief. It made everything that I loved about The Tomorrow People and made it extremely bland and dull.

Everything from the poor acting, to the generic Jumper teleportation and telekinesis effects, to the soap opera 'whose bed is she going to sleep in now' love triangles, to the complete unlikability of the characters or what they were even striving for. And I hated how every TP was basically evil. Every single new one every week was evil. One of the things I loved about the 90s version was that everyone had their own unique spin on their powers. Adam was a fantastic teleporter because he has been doing it the longest. Megabyte could access computers. Ami had visions and once accessed some serious telekinetic ability when she was under control. But all the characters in TP, aside from the main who could stop time, had nothing that made them stand apart. And the whole chosen one / promised land story was just so boring.

I just didn't like it. I really wanted to because of my past love of the show, but like my issues with Parallels, they took the basic concept of the show but forgot to include the heart, the characterisations, basic plot development, and ultimately, believability and association. I felt no affinity for these characters, the story or their situation. None, at all. I do blame the CW for a lot of influence on what had the potential to be an awesome show. It could have turned out completely different on a different network, but that's the cards dealt I guess.

I attempted to piece together an audio drama reboot production of The Tomorrow People, but stopped when the CW reboot news came about. Now it's kinda killed a lot of my love for the show.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Wow! You have managed to pinpoint most of my own gripes/criticisms of the 2013 bland offering! smile

I implore you not to let the awful USA reboot sour you on the 90's version.
I feel similar about Series 3 of Sliders which wounded me and have so far not been masochistic as to inflict S4 & S5 on myself.

I hold S1 &S2 of Sliders too dear to my Heart to allow Peckinpahs Faux Pas that followed to diminish them and I hope you can compartmentalise the different iterations of The Tomorrow People while using 2013's ver as a map of what to avoid.

I for one would be very excited to see/read any Fan Material you have regarding either a 90's continuation or Reboot done right!

I think the 90's will always be my favourite ver even if I see the 70's offerings but I can see some things of value that could be looted/borrowed from it even if only as broadening material and inspiration.

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

206 (edited by omnimercurial 2015-12-07 06:34:07)

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Pyrokinesis, Psychic Healing or Phasing are Elements which could be introduced and mesh well with as in Canon some Individuals having greater aptitude in one skill compared to others.

They all get the Ability Package but some are weaker and others stronger in their own area.

There is a sad lack of The Tomorrow People Fanfiction out there too.
I did read a good 11 Chapter Stargate/TP 90's ver Crossover fic over on Fanfiction.net but it is sadly unfinished.


You are so very right when mentioning Heart and Optimism, Pluckyness, Curiosity etc.

2013 was so unremittingly bleak while masquerading as Deep and Edgy... *sigh*

I absolutely hated Ultra's Anti Power Technology it was bullshit pardon my language.

A.I. I could just about stomach but only just.... as experimental tech.

Sure Indoctrinated/Blackmailed/Traitorous/Greed driven TP's working for the Man/Alphabet Soup group/Black Op is possible but all that Tech? NO!

They might want to research, contain and control TP's but from a narrative point it is boring and takes away the mystery of these powers and people if they already know it all and can use said countermeasures.

The so called threat TP's pose is non existant if you mass produce those Power Jammers and distribute them everywhere.

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

Re: Personal Status Updates!

OMG, you haven't seen the rest of Sliders? yikes  I do see some real gems and value in bits and pieces of the latter seasons, but 1 & 2 was where it was at for me personally before I felt that the main concept of the show just got eternally skewed.

Definitely agree that elements could be taken from both the 70 and 90s version in a new reboot. I haven't searched for TP fiction but that's sad to hear that there aren't that many. It's as annoying as the current conversation we're having about a lack of Sliders fan endeavours outside of fan fiction.

And lol! I didn't even get to the power jammers! Oh don't get me started on that (but you quite eloquently put up all the issues with that technology).

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Yeah it was bull..... *ahem* sorry, nearly fell into that profanity trap again.

The 90's ver dabbled in anti TP tech but it was experimental, unsafe and based on theories that could affect normals too.

The idea was to interfere with either Spatial Perception, Balance etc to disorientate and incapacitate/restrain.

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

Re: Personal Status Updates!

And that's yet another reason why I prefer the 90s version. Everything was experimental and no one had been able to realistically capture one of the TP before, or even confirm the full range and scope of their abilities.

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There was one part in the Premiere for Season One that was a little shocking related to that which was not in the Unaired Pilot.

Even now I am divided on it.

The Scientist who is played by the same Actor (Now well known in the UK for his role in Medical Drama/Soap "Holby City" as a Surgeon) in the Pilot and Episode One explains he used the experimental tech on a Tomorrow Person prior to the Talent Show Location use of it and KILLED HIM because it was not finished being tweaked. Quite casually and slightly embarassed said "There was not much left of the poor Chap".

On the one hand that addition added some genuine menace and dramatic tension but it was also pretty dark and unpleasant.
I sort of like it but also dislike it. Strange eh?

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

Re: Personal Status Updates!

ME: "I would never roleplay as Quinn. I would never try to be him -- I could only fail."
MATT: "You are roleplaying as Quinn. That's what SLIDERS REBORN is."
ME: "I am not. I'm roleplaying as Dan Harmon if Dan Harmon were a fan of SLIDERS and NBCUniversal inexplicably gave him the series and 15 million dollars to do three SLIDERS movies."

I wonder how much SLIDERS REBORN would actually cost to film. DOCTOR WHO is on about 2.25 million US dollars per episode and the most expensive thing in REBORN hundreds of thousands of small digital clocks flying through the air and flying into the vortex. I guess there's the location filming (Vancouver) and the shopping mall that's been converted into an impromptu art and creativity studio and the giant pillar of digital clocks. But SLIDERS' greatest asset is Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo sitting around bantering. That's the greatest special effect ever made. The finale is going to become like the climax of a superhero movie, however -- less MAN OF STEEL superfights and more SMALLVILLE-style supersaves, however. I would be curious to see someone estimate the necessary budget for this someday.

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The weird thing is that TV shows can work wonders with a couple million dollars, but the same exact thing on the big screen would cost hundreds of millions. The system is flawed.


I named my book! I know that people will hate the name, but I decided that I don't care. I just haven't officially told the public the name yet, so stay tuned for that. At least that one small part of my stress headache is gone!

Actually, for some reason "Time Again and World" keeps popping into my head as I try to figure out how people will respond to my title. smile

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Yay, new book coming from Informant soon!

I updated Android on my phone to a new version of Cyanogenmod. And now the phone turns on every time I take it out of my pocket or if the phone is screen down and I flip it over.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Is that a good thing?

My brother installed a custom rom, and his screen went black whenever the phone was active. Something with the proximity sensor. There was no way to answer or end calls. I think he worked something out though.


I'm thinking that I might enter this first book of my series into the Kindle Scout program. If I do and it gets enough votes, I could end up being published by Amazon, which would get me some money right out of the gate and hopefully some more promotion as well. But the question is, could I get enough votes? I guess we'll see. If not, I just publish like I normally do.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Before installing a new ROM, I back up the current install.

The phone turning on when coming out of my pocket is definitely helpful, but I found that it was something of a battery drain. The light sensor was left on even when the screen was off, in order to detect a change in light level (like coming out of a pocket or being flipped from screen down to screen up). It's cute, but it's not necessary. Good luck with the Scout program! You've got my vote!

I've found a way to convert all my SLIDERS REBORN scripts to ePub. It's easier for reading on a phone, but the script format is obliterated. In script format, you have:

                                           QUINN
                                Do what you have to do, Remmy --
                                just get back here in time for the
                                slide!

                                           WADE
                                (protesting)
                                Quinn!

                                           REMBRANDT
                                (warmly)
                                Quinn!

Quinn nods encouragingly and Rembrandt turns and follows after the Maggie double, leaving the sliders behind.

                                           ARTURO
                                How can you encourage that
                                blundering trauma victim to venture
                                off alone into an unknown world?

                                           QUINN
                                You realize that of all of us,
                                Rembrandt's the longest-surviving
                                slider and the only one who didn't
                                die.

And in ePub, you get this:

QUINN: Do what you have to do, Remmy -- just get back here in time for the slide!
WADE: (protesting) Quinn!
REMBRANDT: (warmly) Quinn!

Quinn nods encouragingly and Rembrandt turns and follows after the Maggie double, leaving the sliders behind.

ARTURO: How can you encourage that blundering trauma victim to venture off alone into an unknown world?
QUINN: You realize that of all of us, Rembrandt's the longest-surviving slider and the only one who didn't die.


...

I guess I could learn to love it.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Can you send me one of the scripts in script format? I'd like to see if some of my Kindle publishing brains could work out that problem.

I usually convert to mobi rather than epub, but the tools that I use might be able to do both.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

All the scripts are at www.earthprime.com/reborn in PDF, unless you're looking for a different format.

Part 4 is the only one that isn't a script.

The ePub conversion is done via my new screenwriting software, Fade In. I don't love the lack of quotation marks; I feel like they add a clarity to what text is spoken and what text is description.

From offscreen, Laurel screams. The sliders rush to her. She points fearfully at a display case. It holds the lifeless corpse of a man in his late twenties.

WADE: "Deric?"
REMBRANDT: "What? This is the psychic guy?"
WADE: "No -- the other one! Man. He's looking good!"

Laurel looks ready to cry.

LAUREL: "That guy -- he's dead! He's been mounted like a trophy! He -- "
WADE: "It's fine, he's a robot."

Laurel looks relieved.

I feel like the lack of quotation marks there results in a lack of clarity.

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Hmm... I will see if I can work with a PDF. If not, I can try working with a doc or rtf type file. They are usually easiest to play around with.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Plain text version of "Reunion" with layout
https://www.dropbox.com/s/0uasb7gtjqo1p … t.txt?dl=0

Plain text version of "Reunion" without layout
https://www.dropbox.com/s/a661ezyn774k5 … t.txt?dl=0

I'll be interested to see how it turns out.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Okay, I've been working on it. Going to send you some private messages now.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

So, I think I might have to reconsider my opinion of minimum resolutions for Android phones. I just bought a Moto E (2nd gen) for my mother. I was setting it up -- rooting it, installing Cyanogenmod, setting up a firewall, transferring app storage to microSD storage -- and the 4.5 inch screen is 960x540 pixels, which I declared to be too low. Given how accident prone my mum is, I felt it best to stick to the $100 range for a smartphone and I knew I could get around the 8GB limit with my superuser technqiues -- but the screen actually looks pretty good. 4.5 inches doesn't really require the 720p minimum I advised. That said, unless you're comfortable rooting phones in order to shift app storage to external memory, I recommend you get 16GB of storage minimum because 4 - 8GB just isn't going to be enough for a full Android install with apps.

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I was so impressed with the Moto E that I went back to the dealer and bought another one for myself. This is a pretty good phone for someone who can bypass the 8GB limitation and primarily uses a phone to read blogs, web articles and ebooks and respond to instant messages. I wanted my mum to be able to text on a large and clear screen, but I didn't expect such capable, responsive performance with unskinned Android and really nice build quality as well. I think I'll give my superphone to my niece.

I had a similar experience this past week where I realized that Coke Zero costs 16 per cent the price of Red Bull and supplies largely the same amount of caffeine.

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I finished setting up my mother's new smartphone today. With aggressive use of Link2SD, the phone now uses only 806MB of the 5GB partition, and that's with a full complement of apps (tools, social media, web article readers). The apps take a a few extra seconds to start up than they would if the DEX and LIB files were running off the internal storage, but they function smoothly once they've started. I don't usually install DEX and LIB files to a microSD card as they tend to crash or run slowly (or at least they do on my Lollipop running Samsung S3), but the Moto E's processor and RAM seem suited to doing this.

I'm kind of amazed that this $100 Moto E phone is doing what would usually cost you about $300 or so off contract. I was expecting to be completely out of space once all the social media and messaging apps and a small number of games were installed; instead, this phone can do everything a flagship can -- it just needs a little longer to start up.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

ME: "I have a question and I need you to take it seriously."
MATT: *weeps openly*
ME: "Try to imagine that we are filming SLIDERS REBORN for real as I imagined it -- that inexplicably, SLIDERS as it aired had and maintained a huge audience right to 2015  but rights issues prevented a revival until today."
MATT: "Hahahahhahahahahahaahhahaah!"
ME: "Yahoo paid for REBORN in a round of media investment they would come to regret, okay? Kari Wuhrer is hired to play 20 - 25 or so Maggie doubles throughout the five-part series. Dan Harmon is writing the scripts."
MATT: "Aaugggggggggggggggggh!"
ME: " ... do we address how/why Maggie's breasts are suddenly smaller?"
MATT: "I almost just shot snot out of my nose."
ME: "Why did every single one of her doubles get breast reduction surgery?"
MATT: "If it's critical for continuity, just have her wear fake tits in her shirt."
ME: "I had a dream where Sabrina Lloyd showed up at my doorstep to demand we not do that."

I guess the simplest route -- REBORN takes the view that the Earth in the Pilot had a Maggie Beckett double that we never met. And all the Maggie doubles are variants on that Earth Prime Maggie. So maybe the Earth Prime Maggie never got breast implants.

225 (edited by intangirble 2015-12-22 21:39:39)

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Alternatively: they always were that small. Only as seen through the distorted, deranged vision of Barnette and Peckinpah were they ever anything else; a folie a deux, if you will.

One suspects that a military sort such as Maggie would opt for a compressing sports bra anyway.

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Another thing Matt and I were debating -- I genuinely believe that Quinn Mallory is the greatest fictional character of the twentieth century, a pop culture icon who stands next to Indiana Jones, Spider-Man, Mr. Spock, Batman and Luke Skywalker. Or would if not for the fact that SLIDERS became a complete and total joke. Matt says that it's cute that I think that, but it's not remotely reflective of reality. But I genuinely think of Quinn as a superhero.

First, he has a distinctive silhouette and a costume that makes him recognizable from every camera angle. The moppy hair and Jerry O'Connell's build make him stand out in shadow, as does the pose of him holding the timer. The flannel and jeans are as memorable as any superhero uniform. Next is his secret origin from the trauma of his father and the desire to create something incredible that ripped a hole in reality, followed by a series of experiences that, combined with innate abilities, gave him a distinct set of superpowers: he possesses superhuman intelligence that allows him to resolve the plot in a very short number of pages, and he also possesses extensive knowledge of individuals and their private and personal details as gathered across thousands of encounters across the multiverse.

And also, Quinn has some severe social handicaps but also a limitless sense of compassion for the weak and a fierce sense of morality. This is a wanderer across time and space who is also a social crusader driven by an insane desire to oppose tyranny and injustice in every form he finds it. He also contains some incredibly complex philosophical complexities. Quinn is a gambler and risktaker who causally leapt into a hole in the air, but he is also a seeker of truth who is angry, suspicious and defiant of authority for its own sake.

I think his defining moment as a truthseeker is in "Luck of the Draw"; he is unwarmed by creature comforts, unimpressed by luxury and has no patience for trite platitudes and establishment fictions. He demands explanations and answers where most people would just sit back and sip the free champagne. This is a hero who believes in the power of knowledge to liberate, to guide and to vanquish the cruel and wicked.

(But he's still a messy dresser, a clumsy eater, a socially awkward isolationist whose megawatt smile conceals a lonely and secluded personality, a ridiculously guilt-driven egotist who blames himself for every single one of the world's ills and whose inability to maintain relationships has left him living in a basement for the last 15 years with his mother being his only social contact. He also hasn't had a date since 1996.)

This is a hero who is in some ways absolutely invincible, at least on an intellectual level. But this is also a hero who is incredibly vulnerable because at the end of the day, that limitless intellect is within a human shell and Quinn is as physically susceptible as anybody else. It's not difficult to write Quinn into situations that force his back against the wall, but it's also not difficult to adjust the situation to have him resolve the issue very quickly as the story demands it. His superpower is ultimately the writer's superpower; the ability to shift the story in illogical, irrational and unlikely directions that are made convincing through the device of Quinn's intelligence. And that's what makes this character unique, special, distinctive, invincible, immortal and eternal. Sherlock Holmes. Dr. House. Horatio Hornblower. James T. Kirk. Quinn Mallory.

Matt thinks that's just nuts.

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Just been reading this.....  http://www.geekofalltrades.org/stories/buffyverse.php

Bizaare to say the least.

The Writer seems to be trying to Shoehorn Sliders and Brimstone into Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Quinn from a Reality where Gillian of the Spirits events went wrong.

That Pre Christianity Shamaness who tricked the Soul Hunting Detective.

And a Blank Business Man Character from Buffy.

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

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Randomly, I have to say that watching "Love Gods" after knowing Wade's canonical fate is a very surreal experience. To see the whole breeder camp thing be used as the basis for such a lighthearted episode - and they never called back to it, to how Quinn and Remmy (well, mostly Quinn) might have felt while they were in there.

This whole show is so detached from itself, at Fox's insistence.

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Well...it's been a long while, everybody.

Where do I start? I believe the last time I was in here, I had just moved back to San Diego, CA from Little Rock, AR. Got busy with two jobs, applying (or trying to) writing programs, and self-publishing (my four book DARKCHILDE coming out some time early next year).

Due to all of that, my Sliders fanfic spinoff site ALTERNATE SPIN went on a long hiatus. But I admit that I hate leaving things unfinished so it has been on my mind as of late. Getting internet access at the home to the point that I can play catchup on a lot of genre tv shows (I'll make over to the HEROES REBORN thread eventually...is there still a TV Season thread here?) has also factored into me coming back from my 'slide.'

I still see a few of my favorites here. How you all been?

Happy sliding. Merry X-mas!!!

PS. Also a big fan of the TOMORROW PEOPLE. You are not making me scared to watch the reboot. lol.

Stuslide
SLIDERS: ALTERNATE SPIN
www.angelfire.com/ky/sliderspinoff
"Just think of the possibilities."

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Wow! I'm a big fan of your Site! Glad you have rejoined us Orrible Lot over here! smile

I have to say the idea of your Fics being continued made me Squee a little.... How shameful.... big_smile

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on 2013's Tommorrow People too!

Maybe you could do a blow by blow episodic review thread?

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

Re: Personal Status Updates!

intangirble wrote:

Randomly, I have to say that watching "Love Gods" after knowing Wade's canonical fate is a very surreal experience. To see the whole breeder camp thing be used as the basis for such a lighthearted episode - and they never called back to it, to how Quinn and Remmy (well, mostly Quinn) might have felt while they were in there. This whole show is so detached from itself, at Fox's insistence.

How about in "The Fire Within" when Wade expresses the desire to have a baby?

Or even the pilot and "Double Cross" and "Season's Greedings" and "The Exodus" highlighting her affinity for computers...

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Welcome back, Stuslide. Always nice to see a familiar name return.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Oh God. It's been pretty rough around here as computers go. Windows 10's latest round of updates left my home theatre PC a stuttering mess (it would boot only to a flashing blue screen that could have triggered an epileptic seizure) and my laptop can't even log on anymore.

I'm reinstalling Windows 7 on the HTPC. The laptop only ever ran Windows 10. After I reset Windows 10 on the laptop, I'm going to turn off Windows Update entirely -- security fixes are pointless if the computer isn't usable after the updates. I'll schedule myself to try Windows on Microsoft's terms in six months' time. Windows Vista was slow and Windows 8 was ill-conceived with it's nonsensical touch interface crashing into a keyboard+mouse setup, but Windows 10 is by far the buggiest, most error-prone version of Windows I've ever used.

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So, I went to a Q&A session on Saturday where actress Tatiana Malasny was answering questions and a lot of the questions annoyed the hell out of me. Half of the questions weren't questions, just the person describing their theories on what Malasny must think, going on for 3 - 5 minutes with their attempt at mind reading and then expecting Malasny to, I guess, let this person put their words in her mouth?

"With this project, you must be trying to say that you're not just someone in science fiction projects, you can do a lot of other things too and you want people to see................. " The other half of the questions asked were questions that could be answered with yes or no. "Did you enjoy ______?" "Do you like ___________?"

I don't know what it is about being handed a microphone that turns people into either rambling POV pushers or polar questioners. I wish that, at such sessions, there could be little cards distributed on how to form effective questions or some guidelines projected on the screen. "Avoid asking questions that can be answered with yes or no." "Please phrase your question in 2 - 3 sentences." "Please restrict your remarks to questions rather than statements."

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I was at the Captain America panel at Wizard World New Orleans this past weekend, and I got a chance to ask a question to the stage full of just about everybody from Chris Evans to Jeremy Renner to the Russo brothers.  I know that these panels are expected to be softball questions; more entertainment than substance, and I thought I had a decent one based on an old Cap What If story where Cap ran for President.  I wanted to ask if Chris and Anthony Mackie would live out the old story and join the presidential election as running mates given that it's back in style for celebrities to run for president these days.

I made the mistake of leading off with the words "presidential election", and Mackie jumped out of his chair and started screaming at me "No!  No!  No!  You are *not* asking this question!  Just go!" as he pointed at the door.  I was laughing my head off about it and kept trying to finish the question, but he was just adamant and frankly angry.  I don't think he ever did actually hear what my question was; he wouldn't stop screaming until I finally walked away still laughing.

So inadvertently, I added something interesting to the panel after all.

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That is insane. But quite an amusing question!

I think there have been two attempts to tell stories of Captain America running for President that made it to print, but altered shortly before publication so that Cap wouldn't actually run and the storyline would be aborted.

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I remain fascinated by the idea of using my Windows 10 laptop as a tablet. Detach it from the keyboard to read webpages and ebooks and comics, reattach to type. So far, however, I've spent more time trying to fix this thing as a tablet than I have using it as one. The battery life was awful and needed third party software to create an appropriate power plan so as not to drain the cells in four hours (it now gets ten).

The app store crashed and the E-mail software locked up and the operating system has had to be reinstalled twice and Windows Update has had to be sabotaged to keep it from regularly bricking the unit.

The Kindle app for Windows is hopelessly slow, the Facebook Windows app is an unreadable abomination and I've had to make do with equivalents from the Chrome web store. Yes, that's right -- the only way this Windows 10 tablet works effectively is to raid the Chromebook domain. The mouse needed four separate driver reinstalls before the touchpad would function properly, the attempt to use USB 3.0 created so much wifi interference that I had to go back to USB 2.0 AND the touchscreen keyboard is pretty much unusable.

Occasionally, the screen stops rotating regardless of the orientation. And tablets should be instant-on, but this one takes about 25 seconds to boot and another 15 to log in. This laptop cost $500. My aunt bought a Surface Pro 3 with dock and stylus for $2000 and she has had all of the problems mentioned above.

... but I dunno. I feel like, because I've spent more time fixing this than using it, maybe I haven't given it a fair chance. But I have the feeling that trying to use a Windows 10 tablet as a tablet is simply going to consist of constantly trying to fix it before putting the screen back onto the dock and accepting this is, was and ever shall be a laptop and only a laptop.

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My Birthday today! o_O wink

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

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Happy birthday Omnimercurial!

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Belated Thank You! smile

"It's only a matter of time. Were I in your shoes, I would spend my last earthly hours enjoying the world. Of course, if you wish, you can spend them fighting for a lost cause.... But you know that you've lost." -Kane-

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I have been out of the loop for so long! For the past couple of months, things have been insane. First, Christmas. After that, I've been scrambling to prepare the Kindle Scout submission for my new book. I've submitted it. With luck, I will be able to post a link within the next couple of days.

Gulp.

Anyway, sorry for my lack of replies lately. I haven't ditched the Sliders community!

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

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Sliders fans might enjoy this:

http://www.magnetreleasing.com/synchron … 3-79453849

It's on-demand now. I haven't seen it but the trailer looks interesting.

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The Kindle Scout campaign is live! I have a month to get as many people to nominate my book as possible!

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1QEAR2INNBCFT

It is set in the future, but I think it uses a lot of Sliders type storytelling. It is basically a giant "what if?" story.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

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Okay, I nominated and downloaded the excerpt. I'll read it later.

In a moment of hilarity, the Chromebook app for Netflix is better than the Windows 10 app for Netflix -- Windows 10 has Netflix's lists showing in a single line of titles and the touch interface is confused and contradictory while the Chromebook app is just the website in a window with no unnecessary attempts to re-invent the wheel. And Chromebook apps run on PCs. Oh well. Maybe looking down on the T100 Chi for being a lousy tablet would be like dismissing Stephen Hawking for losing a marathon.

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Jerry O'Connell tweeted that THE X-FILES' return made him nostalgic for SLIDERS and for the first time ever, I thanked him for his efforts towards a SLIDERS revival. I mean, I've documented his sins against SLIDERS pretty thoroughly, but in the years that followed, he had a change of heart. And he tried. He called Tracy. He tried to find John. It didn't work. But he tried. I appreciate that.

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Thanks for the nomination! I wish I had more of a web presence, so I could tweet a million people at once and make this happen. Unfortunately, I don't. I guess we'll see what happens. smile

Netflix apps can be tricky. On my Roku 3, the interface is pretty nice... except that they decided that the video should start automatically in the background of any show that you click on for more information. Now I have to race through the info page to add it to my list or whatever, if I don't feel like watching it right away.


It was cool of Jerry to make that comment. It's nice to see actors appreciate what they've been given. It's unfortunate that the realization comes too late for many of them.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

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After being called a "hater" a bunch of times because I post thoughts and opinions about TV shows and movies online, I've started thinking about starting a blog. This would be an old school geek blog, where people can post long rants and get into debates about these shows/movies, without those that I now call "pop geeks" whining about how we should all just love everything or stop watching.

But I suck at blogging. Maybe I could put together a team of people who like to rant about this stuff, so the blog wouldn't sit without an update for months at a time.

I just miss the days when you could be a geek without being attacked by those people who aren't really geeks, but think it's "totes coolsies" to be a geek now. Y'know, the people who go fangirl over Olicity, but have a mental breakdown if you try to discuss the comic books on which the show is based.

I want geekdom to be considered lame again!

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

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I don't know if this is wise or appropriate, but I generally use my fiction to have characters act out my psychodramas. A scene in SLIDERS REBORN has our troubled teen, Laurel Hills, noting that her mother is dead on this world and dead in every version of reality, as established by the current state of the multiverse. Quinn urges her not to believe that Ms. Hills is gone. Quinn tells her that nothing is forever lost because ______________________ and if something loved and lost is _____________________, then it can come back.

I actually have no idea what sentiment to put into these two blank spaces. In my experience, sometimes, you lose things and you can't get them back and you simply have to move on. Anybody reading this who has never lost something or someone is either very lucky or very lonely. Why would Quinn be making this absurd declaration that everything lost can come back? How could he possibly justify such a remark?

I dunno. It's just how I feel about SLIDERS, you see. It was lost -- but I sincerely believe in opposition to reality that so long as I remember it and care about it, it will come back -- although it had to come back in the form of PDF screenplays posted on the Earth Prime website, and I feel that Quinn would say SOMETHING to this effect to comfort a troubled teenager whose dead mother can't be found in this reality or any other. I just don't know what that something would be.

This is normally where Matt tells me to stop requiring that a story represent my feelings.

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The concept of someone going sliding to find something/someone they've lost is interesting.

Of course what you find in an alternate universe isn't the same as what you had.  It will always be a little different.  But it might be close enough for closure.

There's also the prospect that taking what you value from another world means someone there will now miss it, starting the cycle over again.


In any event, Quinn would comfort Laurel by talking about how he came to accept his own father's death.

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It's a solid story to explore. I wrote about death from a few different angles in one of my books, as the characters were desperately trying to make sense of their lives when some vital piece of their world was missing. Trying to reclaim it is impossible. They just keep slipping away, like sand through your fingers. But the space they leave behind isn't exactly empty either. They don't cease to exist. The questions you have for them are still there. The need to hug them is still there. They are an active influence on your life even if you can't have a conversation with them.


Quinn could tell her that nothing is lost forever because when his father died, he left pieces of himself behind that influenced the man that Quinn became and what he did with his life. Because of that, he has seen worlds where time flows backwards. He has been a ghost, communicating with his friends through the help of a medium. He has seen dinosaurs. He's lost people he loves, seemingly forever, only to have them come back into his life. His entire life is built on a foundation of witnessing the impossible. All of that was because of what his father left behind. And there are probably days when he sees something, either in himself or in the worlds around him, that bring back some other piece of his father.  Sometimes, those pieces fit together in ways that make him see his father in a slightly different light. He's still learning about the man, and from the man. It just takes more time and patience than it used to. And in those moments when he realizes something that he never noticed before, for just a second or two, it's like the present is overlapping with the past, existing in the same moment... which he has also seen happen.



Sorry. I started rambling there after a while and it got a little corny. smile

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

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Informant wrote:

It's a solid story to explore. I wrote about death from a few different angles in one of my books, as the characters were desperately trying to make sense of their lives when some vital piece of their world was missing. Trying to reclaim it is impossible. They just keep slipping away, like sand through your fingers. But the space they leave behind isn't exactly empty either. They don't cease to exist. The questions you have for them are still there. The need to hug them is still there. They are an active influence on your life even if you can't have a conversation with them.

Quinn could tell her that nothing is lost forever because when his father died, he left pieces of himself behind that influenced the man that Quinn became and what he did with his life. Because of that, he has seen worlds where time flows backwards. He has been a ghost, communicating with his friends through the help of a medium. He has seen dinosaurs. He's lost people he loves, seemingly forever, only to have them come back into his life. His entire life is built on a foundation of witnessing the impossible. All of that was because of what his father left behind. And there are probably days when he sees something, either in himself or in the worlds around him, that bring back some other piece of his father.  Sometimes, those pieces fit together in ways that make him see his father in a slightly different light. He's still learning about the man, and from the man. It just takes more time and patience than it used to. And in those moments when he realizes something that he never noticed before, for just a second or two, it's like the present is overlapping with the past, existing in the same moment... which he has also seen happen.

Sorry. I started rambling there after a while and it got a little corny. smile


No, it's very good. I don't know if it has anything to do with losing a beloved TV show and believing that it will return. Believing that the sliders will come back because the storytelling engine of parallel universes and the timer that takes them there is so versatile, so flexible, so limitless in function and concept that Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo can survive anything from being blown up to seeing their TV show cancelled. Their resurrections, reunions and returns were impossible. Quinn and Arturo and Wade were *dead.* But they came back anyway. They will always come back.

The stuff about Quinn's dad has nothing to do with that.

But I don't know if that's really a *problem*! Again, this is where Matt would say that my feelings about the TV show are not actually relevant to the characters from an in-universe standpoint whereas your stuff about Quinn's dad is wholly and totally relevant.

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The accelerometer on my Windows tablet had stopped working. It is stuck in landscape mode.

... I give up. This thing is clearly not a tablet.

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Yeah, I started out trying to reply and go down the path that you were looking for. But as I went along, I think it became more about trying to connect it to the sliding thing as much as possible. It got a little out of hand. smile

Technology is a pain. I swear, the war between humans and technology is not far away.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

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ME: "Scenes I conceive keep showing up in my TV shows. The third REBORN script has the sliders opening a vortex that sucks up all the doomsday clocks. THE FLASH's mid-season finale had the superheroes opening a vortex that sucks up all these bombs."

MATT: "Hahaha!"

ME: "And AGENTS OF SHIELD had Agent Coulson fighting Grant Ward and knocking Ward to the ground -- and Ward was immobilized and of no immediate threat -- and then Coulson, in a fit of rage over a loved one, crushed Grant's heart using his robot hand and was then was rather regretful. Robot hand. Hmm. Now it sounds stupid."

MATT: "Stupid? More like AWESOME."

ME: "It's just like the rewritten 'Mother and Child' scene where Quinn killed the Kromagg. All these similar scenes I write showing up in superhero shows. What does it mean?"

MATT: "It means the absolute glut of superhero programming is frying your brain to a crisp."

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My Kindle Scout campaign has been getting pretty slow, so I'm trying to get some nominations this weekend... Given my lack of reach on social media, it's not an easy task. We'll see! I hear that nominations aren't everything, so even if I'm not on the Hot and Trending list, I could still stand a chance.

But it's be really nice to make the list at least a little bit! Argh.


I go through the same thing, where I think of cool story ideas and they're suddenly showing up on my TV shows. I don't know if it's just a coincidence and I only notice them after I think I'm super original with my ideas, or if I'm just TV psychic.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

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I think Matt's theory is that I'm drawing on superhero comics for SLIDERS. I have, after all, always seen the sliders as superhero characters with their own very distinct set of superpowers. The final script presents the sliders as full-fledged superhero characters in that they have the power to transport anyone and anything to anywhere on Earth. The idea of creating a gateway of energy to draw in dangerous objects and expel them somewhere is reminiscent of Superman using his super-breath or the Flash generating a whirlwind to draw away toxic fumes from people. Superheroes are often, at climactic moments, in a position where their enemies are at their mercy.

I'll be happy to buy and read your book regardless of where it lands on any list, although I understand the importance of this program to your career.

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It's funny, because my plan was always to just publish the book the way I always do. If I don't get chosen by Kindle Press, I'm still gaining some publicity from this, and it isn't the end of the world. It's just frustrating to the part of my brain that likes to be able to control things or fix problems. I'm more frustrated by  my inability to get more people to that page than I am about losing the money right now.

Marketing. Argh!

But thanks for the support. Again, I'd be happy to give you an advance copy of the book or let you know when it will be having a free promotion (I will probably have a promotion early on, so my Kindle Scout supporters can still get it). It's always weird to have people I know buy my books the normal way. smile


It is interesting to think of the Sliders as superheros. I guess it makes sense. I've actually wondered if they could exist in the DC universe from time to time, but it's probably best not to go quite that far with it.

This is what I mean about The X-Files or Arrow using fans to write their episodes. There would be some interesting perspectives on those characters.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

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I'm not really in favour of working class authors giving away free books. Until you sell the movie rights for a six figure sum, I'm afraid I'll have to continue buying your books.

I don't think of the sliders as superheroes in terms of them going on patrol or wearing costumes or getting in MAN OF STEEL type fight scenes -- or even ARROW type fight scenes. I just think that, consciously or not, they use superhero tropes. They come out of nowhere, descending upon people in bad situations. The sliders do what they can to help -- and then they disappear. The sliding concept, if controlled, allows for at-will teleportation and allows for certain FLASH-style action sequences, but you probably wouldn't have Arturo or Wade shooting heat vision or anything.

I imagine the sliders could visit the DC and Marvel universes. Personally, I always liked Temporal Flux's idea of the sliders visiting an Earth with a superhero, but the superheroes' powers are all clearly repurposed sliding technology.

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Fine! I'll take your money! But I don't have to like it!

Wait. Something about that sentence feels wrong.


Anyway, I do appreciate the support. Thanks.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

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One moment of similarity -- watching Fox Mulder experience a midlife crisis on THE X-FILES made me feel really pleased that I gave Quinn his own midlife crisis, albeit one of a different nature. Matt joked that I should sue Ten Thirteen and FOX for stealing my idea and remarked that Jerry and David Duchovny played basketball together in the Vancouver years. I have a certain (meaningless and groundless) pride in knowing that I gave Quinn Mallory his midlife crisis before Chris Carter gave Mulder one too.

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Whether you consider the Sliders superheroes depends on how you define the term.

Traditionally a superhero is defined as a character with a distinctive costume, enhanced abilities, and the moral strength to be good for good reasons.  The Sliders clearly do not qualify here.

Some define it more narrowly, saying a superhero is a benevolent character with superhuman abilities.  Again the Sliders do not qualify.

A broader definition, such as a superhero is a character who has an increased capacity to act and exert power and to demonstrate agency, could include the Sliders but would require more defined characters.  To demonstrate agency one must be an agent of some ideology.  The Sliders don't have a guiding philosophy that directs their actions.  They don't really stand for anything.

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I think the sliders costumes were pretty distinctive; they all had stand-out sets of clothes and hairstyles that made them recognizable from any angle. Being nomads in the multiverse also gave them a superpower; as Dan Kurtzke pointed out in his "Young and the Relentless" podcast, the sliders can revolt against the authorities, give up their life's savings, speak the truth to power and bring it crashing down -- because once they leave, they'll never be seen again and they can do whatever they want without consequence or repercussions, a power well beyond ordinary people. That is their "increased capacity to act and exert power and demonstrate agency."

And if you don't think all the sliders having guiding philosophies and are benevolent individuals, I don't know what show you've been watching! SLIDERS is the show where the characters stumble into dystopians and proceed to bring the ruling class to its knees and often within 46 minutes. SLIDERS is the show where the characters have the incomprehensible superpower of getting hired into jobs with no social security numbers or work histories.

I don't know why you even watch this show if you think the SLIDERS stand for nothing. If you think the sliders don't work as superheroes because they're not costumed and caped vigilantes, that's fine, but in arguing that no one could or should see them as superheroes, you seem compelled to tear the series down just to put your personal view of it above another.

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It's never clear what the Sliders are fighting for, only what they fight against.  We don't know what they want these worlds to look like, only that they want them to be different from what they are.  Often the reasons for resisting the status quo are selfish, the world is preventing them from sliding or doing something else they want to do.  They need the prime directive or "truth, justice, and the American way" or some other thing that defines their objectives.

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pilight wrote:

It's never clear what the Sliders are fighting for, only what they fight against.  We don't know what they want these worlds to look like, only that they want them to be different from what they are.  Often the reasons for resisting the status quo are selfish, the world is preventing them from sliding or doing something else they want to do.  They need the prime directive or "truth, justice, and the American way" or some other thing that defines their objectives.

Why do they need a prime directive? Do they need one to be declared as superheroes or just to be heroic?

The idea that survival is in some way selfish is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read; is it selfish to eat or breath or drink water or disinfect your hands or take medication or work? Regardless of whether the sliders were serving themselves, they never based their survival by preying on others; the idea that not dying is somehow an inconsiderate act is so lunatic and peculiar I don't even know what this conversation is about anymore other than you disliking the idea of SLIDERS as superheroes.

The sliders were regularly shown in the first two seasons to be deeply concerned with the people they met. The sliders cared about the Revolution in the Pilot. Arturo, despite his ego, cared about the men of "The Weaker Sex." Rembrandt cared about Caroline in "Last Days" and Arturo tried to protect the world from the atom bomb. Quinn cared about Coach Almquist in "Eggheads," Wade cared about Ryan in "Luck of the Draw." And that's just Season 1.

Furthermore, the sliders were clearly shown to represent the impact of new and unfamiliar ideas on enclosed systems of authoritarianism, making the sliders anarchic figures of revolution. They took down the monarchy and the CDC, scored wins against despotic communism, saw the truth of even a presumably intellectualist Earth and saved the world from an asteroid. The fact that they saved themselves too hardly diminishes their achievements. The idea that the sliders are not heroes is completely at odds with what is in scripts and performances and onscreen; with that approach, you might as well be talking about a completely different television show.

Were the sliders often portrayed as villains? Unquestionably -- but that had almost nothing to do with the true nature of the sliders and more to do with the incompetence of the writers. It was never deliberate. There's a mountain of heroic deeds here. To claim the sliders aren't superheroes is one thing, but to say they're not heroic is to either be ignorant of SLIDERS or deliberately dismissive of its content.

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I think we're more or less on the same wavelength here.  The Sliders were surely intended to be heroic and it came through most of the time in the first two seasons.  The reason the outside writers had trouble maintaining that was the lack of a clearly defined ethos for the characters.  That's what prevents them from being iconic.

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I don't have the energy to argue that the sliders can be icons right now. I spent a chunk of my afternoon doing chores and also writing up notes on a script that somebody sent me. I thought this script was really excellent, absolutely superb -- but I had a few small suggestions and little tweaks that I thought would recontextualize the ending and give the same ending more impact and meaning. I wrote out what I would change -- little additions or alterations to specific scenes -- and then what I thought would be replacing one final-act scene with a different one.

Except replacing that scene meant replacing a whole bunch of other scenes and suddenly, I wasn't finding neat ways to deepen this writer's story as much as I was simply replacing his style and craft with my own and my grasp of screenwriting doesn't even begin to approach his, and by the end, I realized I hadn't offered notes on his story; I'd given him a completely different story and it wasn't even a better story -- it was just my story instead of his.

So my notes ended with me saying, "You know what -- ? These notes aren't helping you tell your story, they're just replacing it. I've changed my mind. Don't do any of this. You wrote a great script! I should leave it alone."

Which means this was a complete and total waste of time. God damn it.

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Been there. smile

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

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I spent a few happy months with the Moto E LTE. It’s pretty amazing how this $100 phone was completely capable for all my smartphone needs – responsive Android performance, all-day battery life, a sub-HD screen good enough ebooks, great Google Maps experience – all the stuff that usually comes at 3 – 4 times the price. Only 5GB of memory left after Android, however, but a microSD could handle 3/4 of the app storage and all the media storage. It's not a phone for gamers. It was good enough for me until I was defeated by the camera.

Occasionally, at work, I need to photograph displays and the Moto E LTE’s camera produced images too fuzzy, grainy and imprecise to be any use. There’s no flash. So I had to go back to my Samsung S3 superphone (which my niece declined). The cheap end of the smartphone market has mostly caught up to the S3 (aside from the flash), but it was nice to have a phone so inexpensive to replace that it wasn’t unnerving when it suffered drops and falls.

Well. I’m sure my mother will lose the smartphone I bought her any day now, so it’s good to have this waiting in the wings.

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So, regarding those script notes where I blew them up at the end by telling the writer, "Never mind, these changes I suggest are too much, your story's great the way it is" -- I woke up this morning and suddenly knew how to rework my suggestions into minimal additions and tweaks instead of total replacements.

It's this new philosophy of editing I have. I think the main turning point that got me here -- I was critiquing one of Matt's scripts and giving him ideas for major changes to to fix the problems and Matt said he didn't feel he could make those changes even though he agreed with the criticisms. He later sent me a set of notes from a different reviewer where this reviewer had precisely the same complaints I did -- but his solutions to the problems were small, precise and subtle changes that involved altering lines of dialogue and adding a few things here and there -- things Matt was willing to change. Ever since then, I have followed that example towards editing for Matt's stuff and for this other writer. Tweaks and additions instead of replacements. Things the writer wouldn't balk at considering.

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Are the sliders icons of science fiction? To the world at large, no. But that doesn't mean they aren't or can't be iconic. As a quartet, the sliders are larger than life figures who embody an idealized vision of human potential and represent the belief that ideas and ingenuity can solve any problem. Within Seasons 1 - 2, nearly every dilemma is resolved by cleverness, improvisation and the ability to put concepts into practice.

The claim that icons need "a clearly defined ethos" or a "prime directive" or "some other thing that defines their objectives" is little more than exclusionary, claiming what an icon isn't without any idea of what it is. Icons are not made by ticking off checkboxes.

An icon defines a genre, format or form of storytelling, becoming immortalized in memory and identified with that genre. Indiana Jones is an icon of adventure stories because the character is supremely well-suited to the genre in imagery and application. Luke Skywalker is an icon of space opera, Sherlock Holmes is an icon of detective fiction, etc..

The sliders are in some ways genre defiant in that they can fit into any kind of story, any format, any genre. They can be the stars of the story or they can die in the first shot. They can be supporting players, the protagonists, the villains, the establishment or the rebels.

I would say that the sliders are somewhat paradoxical in that they are icons of the science fiction anthology format -- a format that usually doesn't have regular characters. The icons of this genre, before SLIDERS, were Rod Serling's narrator in THE TWILIGHT ZONE and the Control Voice of THE OUTER LIMITS. However, the SLIDERS storytelling engine allows for the show to have the same range as an anthology and the characters are ideally suited to being plugged into any kind of story.

You have scientific brilliance with Quinn and Arturo and interpersonal brilliance with Wade and Rembrandt. You have age and wisdom in Rembrandt and Arturo and youth and innocence in Quinn and Wade. You have cynical conservatism in Arturo and counter-cultural revolution in Rembrandt; you have daring and bravado in Quinn matched with compassion and empathy in Wade. There's no limit in how you use them; if you can't use the main version of the characters, you just use doubles that week.

The other part of the SLIDERS iconography is that the characters *look* memorable; they are costumed and coiffed in ways that make them distinct and recognizable in any lighting and angle. You have the flannel and jeans and hair of Quinn Mallory, the eccentric dressiness of Wade, the stout and broad figure of Arturo and the lean and ostentatiously clothed Rembrandt with his absurd suits.

As a quartet, they stand out in silhouette. The image of the four sliders in shadow running towards us is one of the most vivid TV images of the 1990s and completely in tune with the sliders: distant, aloof figures on the edge of infinity, but when we get closer, we see that they are complex and conflicting human beings.

Also, all four have highly distinctive speech patterns thanks to both the Season 1 - 2 writers and the actors who played them; as a pastiche writer, I found that all four voices lent themselves beautifully to prose-approximations of the onscreen characters.

Mulder and Scully, despite the simplistic definition of being the believer and the skeptic, are just as muddy and contradictory as the sliders; "The Truth is Out There" and "Trust No One" are rarely accurate to the show from which they originate. They don't have distinctive costumes. They don't have a prime directive they haven't violated or an objective they haven't failed at or undermined. Mulder and Scully are the sliders' contemporaries -- Jerry O'Connell and David Duchovny played basketball together in Vancouver. Yet, Mulder and Scully are icons while the sliders are barely remembered. Why?

Very simply, THE X-FILES was successful. It was well-marketed, had high viewing figures, was strongly merchandised, and managed to make it seven seasons before it starting losing original cast members. It had a strong following of both diehards and casual viewers. As a result, Mulder and Scully are the definitive supernatural-procedural characters and achieved pop cultural iconography and immortality.

In contrast, SLIDERS made it all of one season split across two years with a massive hiatus after the first nine episodes followed by three seasons that are impossible to reconcile with the Pilot episode. The show failed to embed itself in the popular consciousness because it was frequently incoherent and often unwatchably poor. But the characters in the first twenty-two episodes transcend all that.

They're icons to me. To me, Quinn Mallory is one of the greatest fictional characters ever created and he stands next to Batman, Spock, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. House. I accept that they're not icons to the public, but aside from popularity, they fulfill the basic requirement: they define a genre and format (sci-fi anthology) and are ideally suited to that genre and format. And I don't think anyone should be declaring that iconography is off limits to the sliders just because they themselves don't see it.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

I bought some oversized bottles of sparkling water and their unusual height had me constantly knocking them over and I managed to spill one all over my Samsung S3. Thankfully, due to an unusually tight case and some uneven distribution of liquid, the device was unharmed -- but this was something of a tipping point for me. I decided to sell off the S3 and use the proceeds to buy a third-gen Moto G (it's waterproof). The S3 actually sold for more than the Moto G cost me. The tempered glass protector and case had the S3 perfect shape, but for some reason, it was having the original box it came in allowed me to charge a premium that a buyer was willing to pay. I can't say what I'm thinking here because I am disinclined to mock a customer, but maybe whoever's reading this could go ahead.

The Moto G 2015 is cool. A Nexus 6 with cheaper internals and impressive externals. Plain Android, so unlike my S3, no custom ROMs are needed to evade manufacturer bloat. Except, comparing it to my S3 -- it looks bigger than the S3, but the S3 used physical buttons where the Moto G uses onscreen buttons, so the area of screen usage is about the same as the S3. The camera has a dual-tone flash that makes photos a bit yellow. The battery isn't removable, although it lasts two days on a full charge, so even when suffering from wear, it'll still be good. There's only 4.53 GB of usable storage after Android is installed -- although there's some built in software that merges the internal storage with my 128GB microSD. It won't affect my usage, yet it has to be noted that in nearly every way, this phone is a bit of a step down from the S3.

But it's waterproof. :-D

Re: Personal Status Updates!

You are far more prone to techno-accidents than anyone I have ever known. I have had my S4 for quite a while now, and it's never gotten very wet or cracked or anything. I has a couple of small dings on the plastic, just because I put it in my pocket with my keys or something, but overall, it is still in really good shape.

That's not meant to be offensive. It probably implies that you have a more active life than I do. smile


So, we've entered the last week of my Kindle Scout campaign. Unless I think of some huge way of getting more attention, I don't think I will get any sudden booms in nominations. While I always hope for the best, I am moving ahead with my normal self-publishing plans. I've set my release date and I'm preparing to start querying reviewers and all of that. It should be fairly simple to make the book available for pre-order as soon as I have a definite "no" from Kindle Scout. Hopefully I will get some sales from the people who supported it there.
Then I turn right around and start prepping book 2 for its release a few months later, while marketing book 1... And this cycle will continue through six books.

I have a headache.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Well, I'll certainly review your book when it comes out.

**

It's true. My history with smartphones is terrible.

Nexus 4: Cost $0 on a two-year contract. Left it on the roof of my car and lost somewhere on the freeway. Replaced with:

Samsung Galaxy S3 (1): Sold a PlayStation I wasn't using to justify buying this one. Dropped it in water in the bathtub, ruined the sound board. Sold for spare parts (the screen was still good), using the money to buy --

Alcatel Idol One Touch Mini: 4GB of internal memory and a single-core processor proved inadequate for Google Maps navigation, so I sold it along with a first-gen iPad, using that to buy --

Samsung Galaxy S3 (2): I slipped on ice and fell, landed on the phone inside my pocket and the screen cracked. I paid for a screen replacement and got a shoulder-strap holster with a magnetic clasp. A year later, the magnet failed and the phone fell out and hit the pavement, cracking screen again. This time, I sold the phone for spare parts (everything but the screen) again.

Samsung Galaxy S3 (3): With the contract on the Nexus 4 expired, I bought a $0 Samsung S3. At this point, tempered glass screen protectors had become prominent and affordable. Aside from water, the S3 suffered the same drops and falls and impacts as before, but the tempered glass and gel case held and the phone stayed good as new. However, after surviving a liquid spill, I decided to start looking at waterproof options. There were some open box Moto G 2015s on sale for $160 and my pristine S3 easily fetched $200.

Moto G 3rd Gen: I think I've got the hang of this now. Tempered glass and gel case for drops and falls, and a waterproof backing to protect from water. This one will last.

The best that can be said of the past disasters, however -- I've really only ever paid money for *one* smartphone; ever since then, I've been trading things in to get new phones. And both my $0 phones were genuinely $0; the monthly rate I signed up for was the same as for a bring-your-own-device plan, either due to clerical error or a desperate need to clear out unsold S3 phones.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

The Moto G 2015 camera. The reviews really didn't do this camera justice -- it is the poorest excuse for an imaging device ever sold in a smartphone. Holy crap. I don't know why Motorola set its denoise filters so high, but every single image from every single camera app has about as much detail as a watercolour painting seen through a blur filter. The denoise effect is clearly built right into the camera firmware. It is so awful that XDA developers came up with a modded version of the built-in camera app that lets you turn off this less than useless and utterly pointless noise reduction algorithm and finally get a decent photo.

I suppose it's not as bad as Samsung making it necessary to install Cyanogenmod on the S3 just to get a decent anything.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

And a brand new note on my smartphone history: I have bricked my Moto G 2015. Android enthusiast does not mean Android expert.

Marshmallow has this neat function of merging the microSD storage with the internal memory storage. I activated the merging. Later, I found that Google Play had updated some apps I preferred unaltered, so I went into recovery, wiped the OS, reflashed the ROM -- or didn't, in that the recovery could no longer install ROMs because it couldn't access the merged memory partition in order to flash the ZIP files. So now the phone has no operating system and no immediately obvious way to install one.

It's a puzzler! :-D

Re: Personal Status Updates!

ME: "Matt, I destroyed another cell phone."
MATT: "Hahahahahahahahahhaahahahahha!!!"
ME: "Thanks, buddy."
ME: "And after that long-ass post on the BBoard about how you finally got yourself under control with the gel casing and temper-proof glass cover."
ME: "This time, I bricked it. No, wait. It's fixed. I was able to sideload the OS back onto the internal memory. Hmm. This was funnier when it was destroyed. I'm sorry I was able to fix my phone, Matt. When I started this chat, I thought it would be funnier than it turned out, much like Season 3 of COMMUNITY."
MATT: "Don't be silly. Season 3 of COMMUNITY didn't start out funny at all."

Re: Personal Status Updates!

ME: "So, this script from your writing partner that you're reviewing -- are there dinosaurs and vampires and zombies and toy-sized cars with laser cannons?"
MATT: "Yep!"
ME: "I must tear up my outline of the Battle of San Francisco, then. Damn."
MATT: "Your own fault! You shouldn't have given me that glorious idea. I shared it -- and he used it."
ME: "Does his script have an evil double screaming, 'You only control a vortex -- I AM THE VORTEX!!!'?"
MATT: "I think the real question is -- does yours?!"
ME: "Yes."
MATT: "Jesus. You really put your poor readers through the gauntlet, don't you?"
ME: "I get it. You're not a superhero guy! You're also not insane."
MATT: "Haha! I like superheroes when the conceit of the story is one of superheroes. It's when you start grafting fantastical elements onto an otherwise grounded story that I drift off. SLIDERS started as four misfits with a bit of tech that takes them to parallel universes."
ME: "All superheroes started out as misfits with a bit of tech. You just described every superhero."
MATT: "It just seems ridiculous to go to extremes when you can tell a cool story that's just a twist on the original."
ME: "The original had such trauma and horror and madness and savagery. And the monsters. The way they lost their friends one by one, the way they all died -- the only way I can embrace it is to see all that as their superhero origin story. Or at least that's what I tell myself at night so that the sliders don't have to be dead."
MATT: "So why isn't Remmy a superhero?
ME: "He is! They all are. Or they will be, by the time I'm done."
MATT: "Rembrandt! Hahaha!"
ME: "That said, it's possible you and I are thinking of different things when we say superhero. To me, the definitive superhero is Tom Welling in Seasons 8 - 10 of SMALLVILLE, where every episode had some intense CG effects with lots of slow motion and frozen landscapes where Clark is using superspeed to pull people out of burning buildings or defuse bombs or evacuate locations or yank individuals from cars about to crash. And that's the sort of thing I see the sliders doing when I say I see them as superheroes. They SAVE people."
MATT: "I just see SLIDERS as a sci-fi drama about ordinary people to behave in an ordinary fashion. It's a perfect conceit. These four people have no control over where they travel. Only that they travel through different versions of their hometown. Then it became a 400 mile radius, which makes them unable to form a benchmark against their own reality. Then it allowed them to control their destination, which takes away from the splendor of the unknown. Then they were fighting a shapeshifting cartoon villain. After experiencing living flames, dragons, shapeshifters, midget magic, regular magic, triple earths, mechanical earths, youth-giving worm shit, etc.. It became ridiculous. I like a grounded concept. SLIDERS abandoned that. And thus, it because dumb."
ME: "I think maintaining the grounding is very important for an ongoing series. And for continued development of the series. But for the end -- The End -- I think that's the time to go nuts. For the series finale, I want them to have full control of their tech and I want them at their highest point at the top of their game."
MATT: "Is this thing going to end like how BATTLESTAR GALACTICA ended? With Ronald Moore inserting himself into the narrative like a loon and walking away?"
ME: "I already wrote the ending. Click here to see it."
MATT: (reading the three pages or so of script) "Missing an Oxford comma in the first line. No capitalization of "Sliders" on the second line."
ME: "I never capitalize 'sliders' when referring to the characters. You've noticed that already; you changed it in all of my reviews. I also don't use Oxford commas."
MATT: "Wrong and wrong. Double wrong!"
ME: "Hmmm?"
MATT: (finishing his reading) "Those are wrong opinions. And you capitalize The Sliders at the end, anyway. YOU BREAK YOUR OWN RULE."
ME: "Well, I capitalize it for the final page -- but only because it's been earned. There are plenty of sliders at the end. Everyone in the city is a slider. But Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo -- they aren't just any sliders, they are The Sliders."
MATT: "This is a very good ending."
ME: "Then let it be known: the only part of SLIDERS REBORN that Matt liked was The Ending. Because it was OVER!"

Re: Personal Status Updates!

I like my Moto G 2015, but there's a couple things that baffled me. Android Marshmallow 6.0's adoptable storage feature claims to shift app installs to the microSD and merge external and internal memory into a single volume. It doesn't do this.

None of my apps installed to the microSD; they all went to internal memory had to be moved after the install. Of the 4GB worth of apps, 2.25GB's worth of apps had the move-to-SD option blanked out.  I mean, why offer feature this in the first place if over half the apps can't make use of it? The merged partition, in addition to serving no purpose, prevents the recovery partition from installing new ROMs or backed-up installs.

Despite the adoptable storage feature, Marshmallow is hostile towards microSD cards. Numerous apps, including the camera apps and Podcast Addict, could not offer the option to save images or MP3s to the microSD. Marshmallow somehow removes the save-to-external option from each app.

There's only 4.23GB of usable space on the phone; my 128GB microSD card can easily compensate for this, but Marshmallow blocks it at nearly every turn despite making a big show of incorporating it. I was compelled to downgrade to Android 5.1.1 (Cyanogenmod 12.1) and go back to using Link2SD to shift apps to partition on the microSD card.

The other thing that drove me crazy was Motorola's camera app. For whatever reason, the Motorola Camera app not only filters out all detail with its noise reduction, it is shockingly buggy. After a few reboots, the exposure settings and tap to focus function no longer appeared, not even after a reinstall. And the unlocked settings -- the ones that let you turn off the over-the-top denoise function -- those stopped loading, too.

I honestly cannot imagine what Motorola was thinking. Hey, we've got a great camera that takes sharp, detailed pictures. Let's make sure the software turns all that detail into a vague and blurry haze of nothing! For this reason, there's at least five different modded versions of the Motorola Camera out there and the only one that wasn't full of these bugs was gregor160300's version.

Also baffling to me is that Motorola put a notification light in the front panel of the phone -- but it only works to indicate the phone is charging. Notifications are indicated by the screen pulsing briefly to show them. It's much less power efficient than it would be to simply use the light that's already in the phone.  Aside from that, most of the issues above can be sorted out through finding a decent ROM with superuser access to get into the hidden camera settings and using Link2SD instead of Marshmallow's phony claims to use microSD cards.

Very odd. This is a great phone, but it makes me wonder why Google implemented a new feature it doesn't actually support and why Motorola sabotaged a solid camera with its software.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

It's always something, isn't it? My phone has storage issues too. I don't store music or pictures on the internal storage, but my phone is constantly low on internal storage space. As a result, YouTube videos get out of sync, and I also have issues with updating apps, because there isn't enough space on the phone. I shift as many apps to the SD card as I can, but it doesn't seem to help.

I am hesitant to flash a custom rom, because I have horrible luck trying to do that stuff. But I might have to. Since you can't get free phones for renewing your contract at AT&T anymore, I probably won't be getting a new phone for a long, long time (I can't justify paying $500+ for a stupid cell phone when I used to get them for free).


In other news, my Kindle Scout campaign ends tonight! For the last day, I made it to the "Hot & Trending" list, which was pretty exciting. I'm still making my plans to self publish, but I'm still holding out hopes that I'll get through. Best to prepare for both scenarios. smile

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

I have nothing of value to suggest regarding your Kindle Scout campaign other than to reiterate my eagerness to buy and read this book and any other books you release in the future.

Moving apps to the SD card using Android's Move to SD Card function -- I would stop doing that. I find that just breaks the apps; I would uninstall all those and reinstall them. There are more effective app-to-external methods that I'll share below.

Regarding the S4 -- there are things you can do with various free apps. The first step you should probably take is to root the phone and open the doors to a wider range of memory management tactics. The S4 can be rooted just by downloading and running a couple apps on the phone that you can download here: http://gs4.wonderhowto.com/how-to/root- … k-0155622/

You have never expressed any dislike towards Touchwiz, so I advise you stick with it. Yes, my S3 on Cyanogenmod had 12.5GB compared to the S4 Touchwiz ROM having 8.82GB of space on its first boot, but the 3GB or so isn't a long-term solution to your issues.

To start, you can try the CCleaner app which detects empty folders, allows you to clear app caches and you can go on a mass deleting spree.

Another useful app is Greenify, which aggressively hibernates apps and is even more effective on rooted phones. I never use it for apps with notifications I want, but I don't need a dictionary app or a web browser running in the background. It improves performance a lot on my admittedly low-end phone.

I've never found apps moved to the SD card to work via Android's built-in solutions -- in fact, I find it breaks the apps entirely, preventing use and updates. However, Link2SD is effective.

If you root your phone and create a second primary partition on a microSD card, you can use Link2SD to shift any user-installed apps to this partition and leave the internal memory free for running the OS and the system apps. 

I find that you can move the APK, DEX and LIB files, but moving the internal data breaks almost all apps. You can also shift stored files with Link2SD, meaning that all your Kindle ebooks and such would be shifted to the microSD as well. I'm using Link2SD on my Moto G. Only 725MB of apps are on the internal storage; the other 4GB is on the microSD.

Also, rooting would allow you to use the Trimmer app, which activates the TRIM function in flash memory to fully remove deleted files that may be slowing down read/write function. All of the above would generally alleviate any phone's troubles by freeing up space and redistributing RAM and CPU resources to foreground apps.

Everyone uses their phones differently. It's hard for me to say what's slowing your phone down, but in terms of freeing up memory, any phone with a microSD slot has some options. The S4 is easily rooted at this point, which would open a lot of doors for redistributing storage.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

As I said before, the 3rd Gen Moto G phone has some bizarre denoise filters built into the firmware of the camera. The built-in camera app and all the social media apps apply them to turn every image into a blurry mess.

I had to try about six different versions of the Motorola Camera app before I found one that didn't crash or lock up. Then I had to experiment with the different denoise filters and focus functions until I finally found the right combination of settings that let you manually adjust the exposure and focus without applying the noise filters. It took a couple days to get it all working consistently and calibrate two groups of presets for flash photography, outdoor use and HDR.

Then I discovered that the Google Camera app somehow manages to bypass most of the denoise settings. Aside from the colour noise filter, which is actually a good filter to apply.

So all the adjustments were a god-damn waste of time. For ****'s sake.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

That sucks.

I am not a fan of Motorola. I had one several years ago and they introduced firmware upgrades that were buggy, and then stopped supporting the phone entirely. That's when I decided that I'm done with Motorola.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Has anyone seen the movie Room?  I saw it last night, and I really liked it.  If you don't know what it's about, I'd encourage you *not* to watch the trailer or read anything about it.  Go in as blind as possible - it'll make the story better. 

What surprised me was the tone of the film.  I'd been told how sad it is (and it is), but there's a level of wonder to the film that I really liked (and from what I did know about the film, really hoped would be there).  If any of you have seen it, I'd like to talk about it more at length.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Motorola, like any Android manufacturer, made a lot of crappy phones when working with an embryonic stage of Android. Like most pre-2012 smartphones, their output was buggy due to Android being unfinished and needed a lot of additions grafted onto an incomplete foundation.

Beginning in 2013, however, Motorola took a new philosophy where they released phones that were just Android with 3 - 4 Motorola apps (notifications, data migration, a camera app, some gestures) while leaving the operating system and user interface alone.

Because their modifications to Android are so modest, updates are no longer glitchy. In the marketplace, Motorola offers a nice contrast to the Xperias and Samsung Galaxies and Zenfones and Huaweis. In contrast to phones that look a car crash between two operating systems, a Motorola phone is unadulterated Android on unlocked and inexpensive phones. Even after Lenovo bought Motorola, that philosophy remains in place.

The issues I have with the Moto G 2015 are, to be frank, nitpicky nonsense that the average person wouldn't care about at all. The reason the camera's the way it is? My theory is now that it was calibrated for outdoor daylight photography; the noise reduction filters, if enabled, apply at their strongest for indoor, low-light flash photography and it seems to be a (misguided) attempt to reduce flash glare. The issues with the microSD adoption? That's not Motorola; that's Google. I could have downgraded to Motorola's Lollipop ROM, but I decided to use Cyanogenmod 12.1 for the built-in Superuser access.

I would sum up all my issues like this: I want my $160 Moto G 2015 to be as good as an $800 flagship phone. But I'm not going to spend more than $200 on a phone, so I'll have to put in the $600 worth of calibrations and modifications myself with some trial and error.

The only thing I don't like about Motorola -- the batteries aren't removable -- or they are, but only if you're prepared to disassemble the phone and glue it back together.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

I got used to the back, home and recents buttons on my Samsung S3. It feels weird to have the Moto G 2015's 5-inch screen but with a chunk of that screen taken up by onscreen buttons and the status bar. I used the GravityBox Xposed module to shrink the buttons a bit, but I couldn't get used to it. So I installed this app that lets me remap the volume buttons on the phone. I've set it so that a long-press on the volume-down button serves as the home button, long-press on volume-up serves as the back button and a swipe to the left brights out the recent apps.

It's good!

This has been another post in irrelevance from me.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

The Galaxy S7 is sounding pretty good. They brought expandable storage and water resistance back. I still don't get why everyone is obsessed with metal bodies though.

I like new tech. Unfortunately, I will probably never see a new cell phone unless I win the lottery or start making way more money. smile

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

I don't get the obsession with metal and glass either -- in that all my phones go into cases with screen protectors, so all that gets covered up anyway.

In the past, I would buy new phones, but they weren't newly released phones. They were flagship phones from several generations previous, usually being sold at a huge discount because the sellers wanted to clear their warehouses for the latest model. Now, I'm buying budget models. But if you're happy with your S4, just replace the battery now and then. (Buy Anker!) I'd still be using my Samsung S3 if it were water resistant.

The market's really changed; you can get a great phone for less than $200; a 24-month payment plan, that's $8.30 a month. If you need a new phone -- honestly, the specifications have plateaued; phones as powerful as the S4 are mid-range/budget now, and yet, the demands of Android have hardly gone up at all. Heck, I'm seeing unlocked S4s on Amazon for $214!

My ideal phone would have been the waterproof Samsung S5 (16GB, 5-inch 1080p screen, microSD slot, removable battery, 2GB of RAM). But I just didn't think it was worth $400 when $160 still bought me waterproofing and a microSD slot and I could live with 720p. I can get around 8GB's limitations with a microSD. The slower processor and 1GB of RAM are an issue -- multitasking's a little choppy if apps are updating in the background, so I just make sure that only happens while I sleep. You don't need to spend top dollar on a decent phone if you're willing to be selective in what features are essential and engage in some workarounds.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Yeah, the S4 is working fine for me. I like the idea of Samsung Pay, and some of the other new features, but they are all stupid perks. My phone is still functioning fine.

The thing I don't get about the metal and glass casing is that is is more rigid, and doesn't absorb shock as well as plastic. I was working on a show with a lot of extras back in October, and I would glance over at their phones. There were so many iphones with cracked screens, and people just shrugged and said that you get used to it. Why did Samsung mimic that design, when plastic is durable and lighter? People put their metal phones into plastic cases! I have never had a cracked screen. My S4's screen doesn't have a scratch on it. And I rarely use any sort of cover.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Samsung has never been an innovator, just a trend chaser. But, like me, they occasionally manage to combine their borrowed pieces into something decent. I like their hardware. I think their Android builds are awful, but their devices are so popular that the bootloaders get unlocked and Cyanogenmod is ready for them within weeks. The metal and glass obsession is Samsung chasing the iPhone and I can't exactly blame them. Their dominance of high-end, big screen phones ended once the iPhone 6 came out and the S6 losing the expandable memory and waterproofing also saw the line lose any positive difference from the iPhone. Ultimately, metal and glass are easily scratched, dented, cracked and shattered and by the time you've shielded your device from these risks, they're not thin and the materials are covered. So why bother?

However, the low-end of the market comes with some issues. I have to withdraw my claim that 8GB phones are a good buy so long as you can put in a microSD card. I discovered that some recently updated apps don't work well with Link2SD anymore -- the APK, LIB and DEX files can still be transferred. However, when I tried to shift all my Kindle ebooks and my Instapaper articles in Data-External folders to the microSD as well, Kindle and Instapaper were unable to load the books and articles. If Link2SD can't be used to handle an app's external data, then it's the 4 - 5 GB of usable space won't be adequate.

I've found some ways to work around this issue; I just ran all my Kindle books through a Calibre DRM stripper, converted the files to ePub and put them on my microSD. And I'm granting Instapaper 500MB of internal storage. However, I no longer think Link2SD is a solid solution to avoiding memory shortages on 8GB phones. Stick to 16GB phones.

My phone still has 3.43GB of space left which is sufficient for running Android, but I'll periodically need to clear out the internal storage so that temporary files have space to breathe, something I didn't need to do with a 16GB phone.

290 (edited by Informant 2016-02-29 17:36:37)

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Well, I have officially received word from Kindle Scout, and Freedom/Hate was not chosen to be published through them.

That said, the book is still going to be published by me, on April 19. It will be available for pre-order within a day. The beauty of modern publishing. smile


UPDATE: The pre-order site is up even faster than I thought it would be! http://amzn.com/B01CDF5XWE

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Well. Let this be a small drop of solace in your life.

Amazon Pre-order Confirmation
Thank you for shopping with us. Your item will be automatically delivered on release day and we’ll send a confirmation when your item has been released.

Your estimated release date:
Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Order #D01-2919081-3684105
Placed on Wednesday, March 2, 2016
   
Freedom/Hate
Kindle Edition
Sold by Amazon Digital Services LLC
$2.98

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Thank you! One of these days, I will get you to take a free book. Mark my words.

From what I hear, pre-order sales all count as day 1 sales. If I can get a good number of them lined up, that might get my sales rankings up high enough to make some of the "best selling" lists, and hopefully that can generate even more sales... which will generate reviews... which will generate sales...

In theory. smile

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

When you sell the movie rights, will you be an extra in your own movie? :-D

Oh, I wanted to ask: how low did your free space get on your S4 at which point you started experiencing out of memory issues and app failures? I keep wondering if I'm being ridiculously overzealous by regularly running CCleaner to clear unnecessary junk files from apps so that I maintain about 3.5GB of free space on a 4.5GB data partition.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Sorry for the delay in response. I meant to respond sooner, but life got in my way. smile

I have 16gb of internal storage. I currently have less than 2gb available. I had to delete the one game that I had on the phone, because it was causing the phone to hang, even when I wasn't playing.

It's frustrating, because I used to be able to store apps on the SD card, and it would save the internal space. Now it seems like everything is stored internally except for pictures and music, even though it still gives me the option to move apps to the SD card. I don't have a ton of useless apps either. I don't know where the space is going.


I would love to be an extra in a movie based on one of my books. Though, in Starlette, I do think it would be fun to play the writer character. smile


Okay, latest venting on life issues:

I feel like I've been repeatedly driving a car into a brick wall over the past week. I've been trying to format the paperback version of my book, but I can't get the spacing right, which results in large gaps on the bottom of some pages. So I've been working and working to resolve that, but it just creates more issues.

Then, I decided to look for people to read advance copies of my book, so I could have reviews lined up when it comes out. You'd think it'd be easy enough. Contact some blogs. Post on some Goodreads groups for people who like to read advance copies... Except my list of blogs to contact blew up when random glitches or quirks with the bloggers prevented me from contacting most of them. And nobody responded to my posts on the Goodreads groups.

Full speed. Brick wall. Splat.

On the bright side, I'm finalizing the Kindle book. I'm sure that it could use more editing, but I've been through it a billion times and anything that I haven't changed by now probably won't be changed. At least I can cross that item off of my list of things to do.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Did you try any of the space-clearing measures I tried above?

**

Oh for God's sake. PM me a file, I'll review your book.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

I have tried some of the solutions. I even wiped the phone completely at one point. I think there are just space hogs on here, and the inability to shift things to the SD card makes things harder. I can keep things working smoothly, just as long as I don't go crazy and try playing video games or storing videos. smile


I didn't mean my rant to be a review request here (though I'll totally send you the file, because why not?). It's just this fascinating puzzle that I'm constantly trying to work out, getting reviews and generating buzz. I've been reading about other people and how they do things, and I try what they do, but it never seems to work the same way for me. It could just be my writing in general that doesn't look appealing, or the fact that I'm not as aggressive as other people are. I don't know. I have over a month before the release date, so I have some time. It's just getting under my skin.

It is kinda like playing the Ghostbusters Nintendo game from the 80's. I've been trying to beat the game for almost 30 years (not continuously, obviously), but I've never been able to do it. There's this level where you have to climb stairs while ghosts attack you, and no matter which traps I've set or ghost food I've put down, I've never been able to make it to the end without being swarmed by ghosts. I know it's probably designed to keep me from winning, but every once in a while, I still go back to it and it still frustrates the crap out of me. I don't like not being able to solve a puzzle. That's what a lot of this publishing stuff is, only the same answer never works twice, so asking other people how they do it is completely useless.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

A few days ago:

MATT: "Did you read Informant's new book?"
ME: "It's not out until April 19. I just got the preorder. If he's anything like me, he's rewriting every line of dialogue before release."
MATT: "I would think he'd have to lock his galley for publication. This close to date it's a bad idea to tweak things for so many reasons."
ME: "I seriously doubt it's that difficult to upload a new ePub file."
MATT: "If you're editing your book days before publication, your edits could create problems in the manuscript where information is no longer continuous."
ME: "I'm sure you can tighten up description and polish dialogue without causing a domino effect."
MATT: "Don't be so sure! All it takes is one typo and there is NO dystopian future!"
ME: "The first version of 'Revelation' I uploaded had the wrong number of doomsday clocks in it. And omitted a vital clue to set up the identity of the doomsday clock mastermind. And mis-spelled Hillary Clinton."
MATT: "You're also not selling your story."
ME: "My burden is much greater than Informant's! I'm not doing some piddling spec script or some irrelevant Marvel mini series, Matthew. This is the twentieth anniversary special of SLIDERS. This actually matters."
MATT: "You know, he'd probably send you a promo copy at this point."
ME: "No, no. He's a working class author, he needs every sale."
MATT: "You could read it in advance! You've already paid for it."

And now here we are.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Weeks ago, Matt and I were debating Rob Floyd -- in that I was astonished at how little Rob has aged since 2000. Matt called this absurd, pointing to the photo I used of Rob in the 2015 interview. "That is a man who has aged," Matt pronounced. But the truth is, that photo was a rare one that actually showed the years on Rob -- in recent photos, he really does not look that different from Mallory except he's got cooler hair these days.

Matt says I am blinded by my love for Rob. What do you think? Photos from the past month:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BCn3qa5ImI7/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BCBap41ImFy/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BBLkcqoImN_/

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Interesting conversation.
For the record, the major changes are done. I won't rewrite anything at this point. I spotted a typo and fixed it today, but most of the work is going into formatting it at this point. Altering anything would mean altering it in two different files (one HTML, the other PDF) and it could make a mess. I usually try to have things mostly settled before I set a release date. It's killing me that I don't have the cover art for book two, which isn't due out until July. I won't be changing any dialogue or descriptions at this point.

Unless I should. I know there are things that I could make better... But I shouldn't. I need to just let it go.

Also, I am always open to sharing advance copies for reviews to people on this board. Yeah, sales are good (plus they make for Amazon certified sales, which are noted in the reviews!) but it always feels weird to me to have people I (more or less) know paying for my work. And reviews go a long way toward helping to make future sales. So one given away now could result in ten sold later.

Have I mentioned that I'm curious to see what you think of the history-building element of the story? Writing it felt like writing a Sliders world... but without anyone from our world to set them straight in an hour. smile


Rob has certainly aged well. It could be good lighting or cameras not capturing great detail, but he does look a lot like he did on Sliders.

Please be informed that the political, scientific, sociological, economic and legal views expressed in Informant's posts and social media accounts do not reflect any consensus of Sliders.tv.

Re: Personal Status Updates!

Recovering from illness this past week. I'll read and review your book this Thursday/Friday.

Laurie recently got a superphone and returned my Nexus S to me. It's a 2010 Android phone, designed by Google, running Android 4.4.4. I decided to set it up as a backup phone and I noticed something weird; the partition is split between data (where the OS and all the apps are installed) and storage (where I can store files). This is an outdated partition scheme; modern Android has the OS on a system partition, but apps and files share the storage partition. Which makes me wonder -- could your S4 be operating on a similar partitioning scheme where your apps are simply being moved to a different partition on the internal memory instead of the external storage?

(Probably not, but I wanted to ask.)

The Nexus S and its single core processor and 500MB of RAM are woefully inadequate for multitasking and it slows to a crawl when downloading apps -- but once everything's installed, it gets the job done. The Nexus S ROM is shockingly small; there's 12GB of free space even with a full complement of apps. But the lack of external memory support prevents it from being something I'd use long-term and I suspect it would choke on Google Maps. But I might use it when I travel and want to use a phone I'm willing to lose.